We see this in the now fast-moving repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Removing DADT won't work, the argument goes, because people in the military are terrible bigots and pigheaded jerks.
[Right Wing Watch:]
[Sen. James Inhofe and American Family Association's Bryan Fischer] discussed Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, with Fischer praising Inhofe's immediate opposition on the grounds that Kagan is hostile to our military while Inhofe explained that it was vital to try and keep Kagan off the court because she would most likely vote to strike down Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
The military is organized into men and women and doesn't need this "third group to deal with," Inhofe said, explaining that, as a military man, he knows that soldiers fight not for nation or flag, but for the guy in the next foxhole... but if the guy in the next foxhole is gay, well, that would dramatically change everything:
Got that? Repealing DADT won't work, because people in the military are all bigoted A-holes who'd rather let a gay die than fight for their country. Granted, there's probably a bit of projection going on here. After all, Sen. Inhofe is a bigoted A-hole, so he's seeing the world through his own distorted lens. But even so, what a poor, poor opinion Inhofe has of our armed forces. I'm often struck by the lack of shame among Republicans and this doesn't do much to dispel that impression.
How rampant is this belief that military personnel are all crazy homophobes, incapable of even tolerance, let alone acceptance? Pretty rampant. In fact, in one chamber of Congress, universal among Republicans. I came across this yesterday in The Hill:
House Republicans are preparing to mount a vigorous defense of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy President Bill Clinton implemented in 1993.
GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber are poised to vote en masse against the defense authorization bill if it includes an amendment to repeal the law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military.
Over the objections of some Republicans, Clinton issued his "Don't ask, don't tell" directive nearly 17 years ago. Since then, many Republicans have warmed to it -- especially now that liberals want to eradicate it.
Never mind the hypocrisy of defending something that they once argued was the worst thing ever. I can find an example of GOP hypocrisy any day of the week. It's hardly worth commenting on anymore. The issue here is that, by Republican argument, American soldiers are uniquely narrowminded and stupid -- and that we should cater to that narrowmindedness and stupidity.
The pentagon will release a study later this year on the effects of a repeal of DADT and the actual repeal won't go into effect until that report is filed. The findings of the report shouldn't be hard to guess. Other countries have allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in their militaries, without negative consequences.
But Republicans argue that America is unique. We're different. And, apparently, they believe that difference lies in our intolerance and our idiocy. No other military has had any problems with gays in the military, but the United States will, because we're all a bunch of backwards dicks. In Republican arguments -- and in some Republican minds -- the American soldier is an idiotic homophobe with no chance of ever becoming more tolerant. We have the only soldier in the developed world so backwards and bigoted that the mere presence of a gay in their unit will render them incapable of fighting.
Republicans like to pretend they love the military more than anyone else, but the facts, their actions, and their arguments show that Republicans have a very low opinion of the American soldier. Keep that in mind the next time one of them wraps themselves up in the flag.
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